Big Country National Weather Service Meteorologist retiring after 33 years

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SAN ANGELO, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – The sun is quickly setting on Hector Guerrero’s stint with the National Weather Service. The veteran meteorologist spent three decades watching the skies of the Lone Star State and now waits to see where the winds of change blow him next as he enters retirement.

Guerrero began his tenure at the NWS in 1988 at a station in Brownsville, spending the last 19 years at the weather hub in San Angelo.

On paper, Guerrero’s weather career began in the ’80s, but his fascination with the atmosphere and its many changes started long before.

“I remember when I was 4 years old, lightning hit our stove,” said Guerrero. “I was standing within 10 feet of it and I remember sparks on the ground, the loud noise. I thought it was the coolest thing.”

The electrifying adrenaline rush that bouts of severe weather brings him and his colleagues is among the things Guerrero says he’ll miss about the job.

“We’re weather geeks,” he said.

But higher on the list is the connections made along his 33 years of service.

“Law enforcement, fire department, TxDOT, so many partners,” said Guerrero. “I will miss those friendships that I’ve made.”

Among the friends Hector’s collected in the Big Country is Toby Virden, the homeland security planner for the West Central Texas Council of Governments. He’s received weather insight from Guerrero for nearly 20 years, speaking nothing but praise for the weatherman.

“Above all of his excellent professional traits there are two words that stick out in my mind: humble and kind,” said Virden. “Hector is quick to extend thanks and credit to others but slow to accept credit for his own work.”

That humble reputation holding true in Guerrero’s interview for this story as he sings the praises of the San Angelo team he’ll soon be leaving behind.

“I work with a great group of folks behind me, they’re doing all the work, providing the forecasts, I’m just one of them,” said Guerrero.

After years on weather watch, Guerrero can now kick back. However, he says it might take awhile for island time to kick in.

“I imagine on Monday after my retirement I’ll think I’m supposed to be working – I’m supposed to be telling folks about what’s coming,” laughs Guerrero.

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